Parent Lecture - Best Friends/Worst Enemies: Friendship Development, Popularity, and Social Cruelty in Childhood

Dr. Thompson
This presentation walks teachers and parents through the complex social world of childhood and addresses a number of questions: What do social relationships in school predict about happiness in adult life? What is the normal sequence of child friendships, from the parallel play of the two-year-old to the intimate self-disclosure of the adolescent? Why do cliques form and what are the difference between boy and girl groups? Why are children scapegoated and how can their parents and school protect them? Dr. Thompson will draw on research to highlight the differences between friendship and popularity. He makes suggestions about the management of social problems in schools and makes the case that while all children yearn for popularity, it is friendship that helps children survive and thrive.

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